How to clean an IPL hair removal machine: 3 steps for long-lasting performance

It's recommended to clean your IPL machine more often than you'd think

Philips Lumea IPL
(Image credit: Philips)

If you hate shaving and haven't invested in an IPL hair removal machine, then what are you even doing? It's a wonderfully convenient solution to making sure your body remains hair-free, and whilst it isn't a permanent fix, you can usually go for about a month before the odd touch-up is required. 

The best IPL machines work by using different wavelengths to target pigment within the hair, heating them to a level which kills the growing cells and ultimately eradicating hair growth altogether. However, to enjoy the best possible results after each treatment, it's important to regularly clean your machine. Philips even recommends users should clean the Lumea Prestige IPL machine after every use. 

Keep reading to find out the 3 easy steps to cleaning your IPL machine, and how you can keep it functioning in the best way possible. 

Step one: switch it off and let it cool

For starters, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your IPL machine, Every device is different, and cleaning a product incorrectly can result in damage or less than optimal results.

The safest way to begin cleaning your IPL machine is to switch it off after use and let it cool completely. You should always keep it away from water, and never submerge the device to clean it.

Step two: remove attachments 

Depending on what device you have, you should remove any attachments from the light exit window. Most machines provide up to 250,000 flashes, so this step will allow you to clean any bacteria that may hinder the performance of your device. 

Some IPL machines have water filters to help keep the machine cool during use. If your device has this, and you should check the user manual if you're not sure, check the filters regularly and replace them as needed. 

Step three: use a soft cloth 

The final step to cleaning your IPL machine is to use a soft, damp cloth on the attachments you just removed. Start with the the light exit window without pressing too hard. You can then move onto the outside surface of the attachments, as well as the reflector and glass inside the attachments. As mentioned, be careful with how much pressure you're applying as you don't want to damage your machine. 

Finish with the handle of your IPL machine as this is where most of the bacteria will collect. Again, just wipe it with a soft cloth and you're good to go!

If you're interested in more IPL hair removal machine content, make sure to check out the 5 mistakes everyone makes with IPL hair removal machines and Epilator vs IPL: which hair removal style gives the best results?

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.